True story: For over 20 years, Jennifer Ford Berry has helped people organize their homes and lives. But it’s not just organization for organization’s sake. Jennifer knows that when we have our space, time, energy, and money in order, it makes room for us to discover and pursue our true God-given purpose in life. It’s a grace to welcome Jennifer to the farm’s table today…

Guest Post by Jennifer Ford Berry

When Desiree was a little girl, she played Barbies in her room constantly. She loved setting up her Barbie dream house with furniture, organizing the clothes, accessories, and handbags in her carrying case, and pushing Barbie around in her convertible. What Desiree loved most was fantasizing about living this kind of life when she was grown up. She couldn’t wait until she was an adult living in her own mansion by the beach, with a closet full of designer clothes and accessories, married to her handsome “Ken” and driving around with the top down.

Though Desiree was only a young girl, she had already been taught by society that possessions were extremely important. They made you feel rich, powerful, and well-liked.

“Our biggest treasure should be our relationship with God.”

In Matthew 6:19 and 21 we read, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.. . . Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

I don’t believe that this passage from Matthew 6 is saying we shouldn’t love anything here on earth, but I do think it is telling us to be careful about what we treasure. We should be cautious of putting too much emphasis on our possessions.

Our biggest treasure should be our relationship with God.

Do you find that your material possessions affect how you feel about yourself and how you live your life? Do you find yourself longing for that trendy handbag, those new sneakers, or the latest cooking appliance that will definitely be the one to make your life easier?

“I want you to know there is a bigger calling for your life than how many things you can accrue.”

I want you to know there is a bigger calling for your life than how many things you can accrue. Yes, we are here to collect—but not clothes, appliances, documents, or money. We are to gather wisdom, memories, positive character traits, ways to do God’s work, love, and so much more. None of which has anything to do with how many things are in our homes.

I have had the experience of emptying countless homes. Clients have hired me to do this for them when a loved one has passed away. I have also done this for both of my grandparents’ homes. It can be very overwhelming. But each time I have done this, the same thoughts go through my head. I imagine how many hours that person worked to obtain their possessions and how many hours they spent cleaning, rearranging, and moving things in and out. And yet even though they gave so much of their lives to these things, here the stuff remains on earth when they are gone.

What is it all for? My sincere prayer is that it was all worth it, and that these material items gave them joy while they lived with them. But in the end, we all leave here empty-handed.

What is in our hearts and how we contribute to making the world a better place are what matter to God. After all, someday all your possessions will be gone, and at that point, what will be left of your time here on earth? How will people remember you?

Trust me, you will not be remembered for how many pairs of shoes you owned. Rather, as the Bible says,

“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Heb. 12:1)

Imagine your home.

Think about the colors of the walls, the layout of the furniture, and the trinkets all around. Now, think about how you feel about your space.

Is your home a true external reflection of who you are on the inside?

Does your mind feel as cluttered as your home looks?

“What are the things you own costing you?”

What are the things you own costing you?

Have you ever realized that everything you own or bring into your home uses up some amount of Space, Time, Energy, and/or Money? Think about it. We only have so much S.T.E.M. in our lives. I think it is super important that we become intentional with how we spend our S.T.E.M.

Here are two ways to assess your relationship with material possessions.

1. Freeze your spending.

If you want to get really radical, I recommend trying a spending freeze. A spending freeze means you stop buying nonessentials for a while. It can be very helpful when you are working on getting your home organized. Initially, it will make your life easier, because buying more adds to the work! It will also reboot your mind so you can start viewing your possessions differently.

If you are feeling extra overwhelmed by clutter, the best thing you can do is get organized and reduce the number of items in your home.

“We will always want more and more, because true contentment only comes from a personal relationship with our Creator.”

2. Engage your marketing awareness.

Did you know that we see about five thousand marketing messages per day? The purpose of these messages is to get us to want more and think we need more. The people behind these messages know how to do this well. It is crucial that we become aware of how these messages affect us. Most of them are lies: we don’t need more. Most products will not improve our lives.

Many times, our desire for more or better possessions is really a longing to fill an empty place inside of us. We can work hard to gather more and more stuff, but without God as the center of our lives, we will never stay satisfied.

We will always want more and more — because true contentment only comes from a personal relationship with our Creator.

More and more stuff arrives at our homes all the time, and it takes up an incredible amount of our space, time, energy, and money.

Certified professional organizer and bestselling author Jennifer Ford Berry says that instead of living for our stuff, true joy is found in knowing and living out our purpose. In Make Room: Take Control of Your Space, Time, Energy, and Money to Live on Purpose, Berry shows you how to have a more meaningful and intentional life by defining your purpose, planning your time, decluttering your home, and much more.

If you long to get rid of what distracts you from living out your God-given calling, Make Room is your roadmap to success, offering principles to recognize and eliminate anything that is cluttering up your life.

[ Our humble thanks to Baker Publishing for their partnership in today’s devotion. ]